Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Misguided Silence

Silence is powerful and like most things, its power exists on opposite ends of the spectrum. When facing major life decisions or crises, stillness leads us to proper perspective and the answers needed to move forward. Silence is critical for clarity. However, there is another side of silence that is devastating—the misguided silence that we impose on ourselves when we need to speak up.

I was abused for seven years and the memories of that abuse lodged themselves equally between my mind and my heart. They traveled back and forth, their meticulousness tortured me and the raw emotion that accompanied them tormented me. Though I was an adult, in a safe physical and emotional space, those memories could shove me back to pain-filled places. For years I thought that the act of remembering was what rendered me powerless. Consequently, I believed that in order to stop the powerlessness and pain I had to stop remembering. This plan was unrealistic and unreasonable. I set myself up to fail. When the memories returned, I would not only be thrust into immense sadness, I would also be angry with myself for not being able to do the impossible. Remembering wasn't the problem. Being quiet about what I remembered and how it impacted my life is what suffocated my strength. My silence complicated my pain.

There may be one major situation or several that have led you to believe that you don't have a voice or that you don't deserve to be heard. It could have been a one-time incident or repeated occurrences. Maybe you have been silenced by the actions, words, or lack of actions from a parent, spouse, or other relative. Most likely, your silence is the result of a combination of circumstances and harmful lessons. No matter the reason(s), it's not too late to take another direction. It's not too late to speak up. It's not too late for you to break the cycle of misguided silence. Through the process of speaking up you will not only find your voice but you will ignite your healing process. Find your voice and you'll discover your power.

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